>> for ministers meet in tunisia to seek a victory in this year conflict. demonstrations over the burning of copies of the koran at a u.s. airbase. >> volkswagen shifts into high gear, doubling its profits thanks to improved car sales. we begin with yet another call on the syrian regime to stop killing its own people. >> foreign ministers from 50 countries, mostly arab and western nations, that in geneva on friday for the friends of ca meeting. they open the borders. -- the syrian council told ministers did that weapons are being smuggled in to syria to
help the rebels. we have this report from tunis. >> defense of syria conference was hoping to put more pressure on the syrian president, but it produced little agreement on how to do it. the syrian opposition says it needs weapons. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton favors an embargo on syrian oil. the conference was not set up to discuss the possibility of military intervention, but at the end of the meeting, france's foreign minister refused to dodge the issue. >> some people have raised the hypothesis. we continue to think about what concerns us in the security council. in the and, if the situation does not improve quickly, of course, all possibilities could be taken into consideration. >> in syria itself, that
suffering continues. this video of homs uploaded to the internet appears to confirm reports that the city is under constant bombardment. the city is surrounded by government troops. activists say civilian deaths are a daily occurrence. like other rebel strongholds, it is running out of food, water, and medicine. help from the international community is seen as the only hope by many syrians. their biggest fear is that the government will mount a ground offensive, which could end in a massacre of the civilian population. >> joining me now from tunisia is our correspondent. sarah, this is not the first time that the international community has tried to find a common line on syria. what, if anything, can come out of this meeting? >> so far, there's very little concrete action.
europeans are clearly against military intervention. so far, voices are very diverse, and there is no clear result. >> what has been the reaction to news from the syrian national council that arms and weapons are being smuggled into syria or the rebels?gled into syria >> the saudi arabians actually support this option, whereas the europeans are highly against it. >> two countries -- china and russia -- which have influence in syria are noticeably absent from this conference. what message does that send? >> it actually shows how different the opinions are in the international community.
their questions about whether the united nations will be able to get them on the vote and sign resolutions with russia and china as well. >> thank you very much. iran has stepped up its efforts to enrich uranium, increasing worries of an escalation towards conflict. united nations nuclear watchdog has issued a report saying tehran has carried out a significant expansion of activities near its enrichment plant and increased work in an underground facility. a team from the iaea returned from iran this week after being denied access to top nuclear official or suspected nuclear sites. the report states serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to iran's nuclear program. iran insists the program is for civilian use only.
anti-united nations protests continued in afghanistan with thousands of angry afghans emerging from friday prayers to take part in a fourth day of demonstrations. >> they are protesting news that u.s. soldiers inadvertently set fire to copies of the koran. on friday, 12 people died, bringing the total to 20. u.s. president barack obama apologized for the incident, and the u.s. embassy in kabul has been on lockdown all week. >> the violence is not abating. again on friday, demonstrators took to the streets in cities across afghanistan to voice their rage at the desecration of their holy book. crowds of angry protesters shouted anti-u.s. protesters at riot police. u.s. president barack obama has apologized for the incident, but it has done little to appease people. most afghans the burning of the koran as an unforgivable act of
sacrilege. many think it was done deliberately in a show of contempt for their religion. >> the infidels burned our crown, the book we believe in. we came to ask karzai why the infidels are insulting islam if this is an islamic country. -- the infidel's burned our core ron -- koran. >> the deaths of two soldiers thursday prompted the military to evacuate troops from the base it was planning to close. >> we are joined live now by our correspondent. we have four days of protests, for your days of violence. any sign that things are calming down, especially after friday prayers? >> you are right. four days of violence, and it seems like it was more violent
in large parts of the country. if there's any signs of hope, idea that it signs of violence in the capital and south of the country where the insurgents actually were was actually quite low. the worst violence today was in a western city and in the north. a mob tried to storm the american consulate. up to nine people were killed. >> would pick up on that. we have that report of a group trying to storm the u.s. consulate. two u.s. soldiers died on thursday. the u.s. embassy in kabul is on lock down. what can western troops do now? do you see this accelerating their departure from afghanistan? >> i think in the immediate future, western troops will lie low, but we try not to make the situation and the worst by their presence, not to raise the angry more. in the future, it will just increase the will of the public
back in europe and back in america to leave. i think they see these pictures and wonder why they are in the country trying to help these people if they are trying to get them to leave? i think it is politically very damaging. >> indeed, it could be. thank you very much. all right, to corporate news now. the numbers and volkswagen are superb. 2011 was a good year. >> they are still doing some arithmetic, checking the math, but the german auto maker says profit likely more than doubled last year because of improved car sales. both white and releases its official 2011 results on march 12. >> setting 1 record was not enough for vw. in 2011, the german automaker manage to pass a number of milestones. all of its nine car brands and did a brisk trade. according to initial figures for 2011, the breakdown looks like this -- profit was almost 15.8
billion euros, more than double the figure from the year before. good-wide revenue jumped. and it sold 8.3 million cars, yet another record figure for the automaker. the volkswagen did not generate its record profit by selling cars alone. the company benefited from accounting factors related to its takeover of luxury car maker porsche of. vw's stake in truck maker m.a.n. further improved the balance sheet. >> the world's biggest chemicals maker is out with a record earnings for 2011. the company hardened -- heartened investors with a good outlook. as expects sales to begin searching as the global economy recovers. >> carmakers, construction firms, and agricultural companies. they are all customers of the chemicals industry, and because
these customers produced a lot, the asf had record earnings. >> we emerged faster than expected from the crisis, and at the time, company supply inventories were low and had to be replenished fast in the first half of 2011. >> the company is expecting an even better 2012. sales and profits should pick up again after softening in the final months of last year. >> in europe, we think we will see the first signs of change toward a more bullish sentiment. order placing has changed, and orders are coming in again. basf is expecting the global economy to really pick up steam in the second half, and growth impulses should be coming from both the emerging economies and the u.s. that is where the company has based its research on genetically engineered crops.
>> regardless of all optimistic assumptions, basf is especially keen on a solution in the european debt crisis. up to this day, basf is generating more than half of its earnings here in europe. >> onto friday's market action, shares in frankfurt snapped their three-day losing streak to go into the weekend on a positive note, encouraging corporate news and better than expected data from the u.s. real-estate sector lifted investments and it -- investor sentiment. our correspondence sent us the story from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> record high sales numbers and profits and a far higher dividend did not go down too well on the frankfurt floor. volkswagen shares have been among the few losers this friday. they lost by nearly 1% this day. traders said that they doubt that vw will be able to keep the pace that's it had in the last few years, and they also said
that the outlook has been more or less gloomy. but in general, the burning season helped a lot here on the frankfurt floor. the dax finished in positive territory after losing all week long. >> let's take a quick run for the market numbers. the dax ended the friday session up by 0.8%. the euro stocks 50 also looking very good, but by 0.6%, going in the week ended 2523 points. across the atlantic, the dow -- that is pretty much flat at this hour. 12,986. the euro higher against the dollar at a value of $1.3461. that is your business update. >> now, let's take a look as some more news stories that are making news around the world. in pakistan, suspected taliban militants have killed four police officers and wounded
several others in an attack at a police station in a northwestern city. the militants later blew themselves up. the u.s. and north korea have ended two days of talks in beijing. the discussions focused on the north's nuclear program and on food aid. the u.s. envoy at the talks said the two sides made some progress, but there were no breakthroughs. that a battle for power in australia -- the former prime minister has sparked a crisis in the governing labor party by challenging the current prime minister and party leader, julia gillard, who called a vote on monday on who should lead the party into next year's elections. >> doctors in austria say the dutch prince, who remains in a coma after being buried in an avalanche while skiing, may never regained consciousness. doctors say the son of the dutch
queen suffered severe brain damage. his heart had stopped beating for almost 50 minutes before he was readmitted. he was skiing outside the mark trail's last week when he was caught in the avalanche. >> coming up after the break, it is a place that is both beautiful and perilous. we report on the search for hostages in the remote borderlands between ethiopia and eritrea. >> all right. we will be right back. stay with us. dw on the internet with a new
address and a completely revamped online presence. journalistic quality in 30 languages -- insightful, diverse, and in multimedia format. visit us at dw.de. >> welcome back, everyone. last month, a german working on a construction site in nigeria was kidnapped. days before that, there were separate reports that two german
tourists had been kidnapped in ethiopia. >> but germany is prepared to deal with these kinds of incidents. the country has a specially trained crisis team standing by to handle negotiations and any rescue operations. the team is part of the german foreign office. we have a behind-the-scenes look now at how they operate. >> whether it is a ship wreck like the costa concordia off the italian coast or hostage situation, the government's crisis response center team gathers in the basement of the foreign ministry to coordinate efforts to help. but the experts and diplomats do during an emergency is kept strictly confidential. especially when it comes to kidnapping negotiations. >> protecting life and limb is our highest priority. for each case, a purpose-built crisis team is formed, which acts intensively, drawing on all the resources available in the german government and in the country in general to resolve
the situation. >> the crisis response team is shown here at work in 2008 after three german mountain climbers were kidnapped in turkey. the team immediately make contact with the german embassy there. local ambassadors' play a decisive role in cases like these. >> they have firsthand information about what is going on in each area. they have the best contacts, and they are the most familiar with the political situation. they know where the political players are, and they can make appropriate suggestions that we can quickly find to and and put into action. >> even when there is no current crisis, two officials are always on duty, following the news around the clock and staffing the phones. they are always ready to respond quickly to unfold in situations where ever in the world they occur. >> but as we have seen, tourism in certain regions can be a dangerous undertaking. along with the two germans who
were kidnapped in ethiopia in january, there were five others who paid with their lives. >> we have a look now at the perils in the region where they were attacked. >> these men are herder's. they did not want to be films, partly for cultural reasons, but also because of the recent kidnappings. we are in a village aut 80 kilometers from where the tourism group was attacked. the news of the killings and abductions shocked many here. >> in our culture, it is shameful to kill a guest. tourists came in peace but were attacked in their sleep. some were killed and others kidnapped. the laws of our culture were broken. >> about 4000 tourists travel to the desert every year to see the volcano. it is a spectacular opportunity
to appear under the earth's crust, but it is also very risky. volcano is situated on the frontier between arch enemies ethiopia and eritrea. enemies have been known to attack foreign visitors, but until january, nothing had happened in several years. a search was launched last january to find those who had been kidnapped. german authorities asked us to avoid the region around the volcano. we were told our presence could hinder negotiations with the kidnappers. the government here says eritreans are behind the attack. "it was definitely the shabia. they attacked tourists because they want to prevent development in our area. >> in response, extra police and troops have been deployed along the border, but were eritreans really behind the kidnapping?
the democratic revolutionary front spent years fighting for independence from addis abbaba. eight years ago, and he lay down weapons, but not all members gave up the struggle. >> some of our former comrades have rejected the course we are taking. they formed a militant splinter group. i think it was they who committed this crime. >> the main concern is finding a job. there are two main sources of income here -- so production and tourism -- salt production and tourism. >> i do not have anything directly to do with tourists, but they spend money. they are good to us. >> but tourists sometimes get caught between a political fronts of different factions. tribal elders are currently trying to mediate the release of the hostages.
>> that here in germany, the country's constitutional court has partially struck down a law giving authorities access to people's private data. the high court ruled that in the future, telecom companies will only be allowed to pass on consumer passwords and thin coats -- pin codes to the police in exceptional cases. germany's government has until summer next year to amend the laws. >> israeli police have stormed jerusalem's dome of the rock holy site after violence flared on friday. an israeli police spokesman said that palestinian youths started throwing stones at police after friday prayers. security forces broke up the protests with stun grenades and arrested four palestinians. 11 police officers were also injured. the site, which arabs call the noble sanctuary, is sacred to both islam and judaism and has arab-israeli conflict.
gauze that is a place of desperate for the materials needed to run a society. on friday, the international red cross delivered 150,000 gallons of diesel to field hospitals. the fuel will last for only 10 days. emergency supplies like these are keeping gaza and its people alive. we have this report now on the hunger that is always present, not only for food and fuel, but also for information. >> even newspapers are an extremely rare commodity in the gaza strip. they are just another point of contention between the palestinian movements -- hamas and fatah. there's an import ban on the palestinian newspapers printed in the west bank. >> i even miss the smell of newsprint. i had not smelled that in four years. >> the pro-fatah paper reduced operations.
the owner regrets the drop in turnover, but the editorial department still files reports every day. >> nowadays, you can read every day on the internet. new technology has overcome the obstacles that existed in the past. >> many say lifting the import ban on all newspapers would be a simple but important step. it would show that both sides are serious about reconciliation. human rights activists -- this human rights activist is trying to achieve small concessions like this. he is a member of the palestinian national reconciliation committee. >> sometimes we find it embarrassing that we are having to negotiate over such matters in the year 2012, matters that belong to the basic rights of every individual. how can it be that paper copies of newspapers are banned while everyone has access to them via the internet?
>> the committee submitted a raft of proposals in january. it called for the release of political prisoners and freedom of the press in the west bank, too. nothing has happened so far. in gaza, many are skeptical about reconciliation. >> it will never happen. there were so many reconciliation attempts, and nothing ever came of them. hope comes and goes. it would be great if they came to a serious agreement, but sometimes one side says it wants reconciliation and the other says it does not. they are constantly blaming each other. >> so, for now at least, the choice of newspapers in gaza will remain restricted to two pro-hamas newspapers and a couple of egyptian magazines. it seems difficult to come to an agreement even in situations like this. >> journalists are risking their lives in syria, sometimes with
deadly consequences, to report events to the outside world. >> with a, two western journalists were killed by syrian government forces in homs, but their deaths are not stopping others from working to get the story out. >> daniel -- photography is daniels passion and profession. here in istanbul, he no longer feels under pressure. that is because he is back from several weeks in neighboring syria, documenting evens there. he crossed the frontier from turkey several times with the aid of syrian rebels. it is essential the outside world knows what is going on in syria. >> because the syrian regime has restricted reporting and because we have come to rely on information supplied by the opposition, it has become very important to be on the ground and to find out what is really happening.
>> this is footage he shot during his last visit. even in small villages, there are demonstrations almost every day against the regime. also a daily occurrence -- opposition supporters. "according to what i was told, a farmer was shot dead by snipers on his way to work. it is difficult to verify if that is true, but there have been several reports of people being killed indiscriminately." he dismissed his life to obtain images like this. syria is a country in conflict. -- he has risked his life to obtain images like this. "you hope you will wake up the next day and nothing has happened to you."
he knew the foreign journalists who were killed earlier this week in homs. despite the danger, he plans to return to syria despite the dangers -- he plans to return to syria for more pictures. >> that is the "journal." we will see you next time. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--